Lamar Odom takes his business personally.
NBA players use a variation of the line “this is a business” about the NBA more than they say they “gave 110 percent” or that they “left it all on the floor.” It is as common as NBA groupies around he league.
But the Lakers almost trading him to New Orleans as part of the failed Chris Paul trade wasn’t just business for Odom, he was personally offended. Here is what he said, via the Orange County Register.
“It wasn’t about going to New Orleans. It was just about how they did it,” Odom told reporters Tuesday. “I felt a little disrespected. After being here for so long and going through so many things, I felt like they could have just told me and I probably would have accepted it.
“If someone is telling you that you can’t be here or there’s no more room for you, you got to understand that. I think because it’s just how they did it is the reason why I took it so personal.”
Should the Lakers have told him, or is that just the way of the new Jim Buss regime in Los Angles? Things were moving fast, but a heads up seems the courteous move.
The result was Odom asking to be traded and the Lakers shipping him off to Dallas for a trade exception and future pick.
That didn’t sit well with Kobe Bryant or other Lakers. Odom was a very popular teammate and a guy the locker room trusted to show up in big games. On a team where Kobe is the bad cop and Derek Fisher the good cop, Odom was the guy who put his arm around you and talked to you like a brother. That mattered.
Now the defending champions have him. And the Lakers have to face Odom a lot. Which also doesn’t make Kobe happy.